It may sound old fashioned, but I’m an advocate of the well-thought-out setup for a couple of reasons. (1) People who really know you may see opportunities you’d miss, and (2) setups give you an opportunity to learn about other people and yourself. You might also be surprised to know that approximately 30 percent of married couples met through friends.
For the sake of full disclosure, I should mention that I’ve had my share of experiences with blind dating. I’ve been set up on eight blind dates that royally flopped. They ranged from mildly awkward to cringe-worthy and painful. Then, on my final blind date (to my great surprise and delight), I met my husband. So, I’m not exactly unbiased when it comes to this topic. But there are some things I've learned in my blind-dating career—many of them the hard way—that I’d like to pass along to you.
1Remember That It’s Just a Date.
Fortunately, unlike Isaac and Rebekah, you aren’t committing to marriage here. You’re just saying “yes” to approximately one hour of your life. And let’s face it—several of us have devoted unrecoverable hours of our lives to Gilmore Girls reruns. See this as an opportunity to get to know another person and learn more about yourself, whether it becomes something more or not.
2 Have an Open Heart.
Sometimes people who look perfect on paper may not be a good match in person—but the opposite can also be true. Even if someone doesn’t sound like your usual type, don’t be afraid to open your heart to the possibilities. Feel free to ask your matchmaker why they thought the two of you would be a good match. They might see a connection you’ve missed.
3 Make a Good Plan.
It might seem like a good idea to go to a movie on your date, but you’ll know little about your date after sitting silently in a dark theater for hours. If you really want to make the most of your time, plan a date that allows you to interact with each other. Consider activities that lighten things up and give you something to talk about. This will help you avoid awkward silences, and it might even help you learn more about your date’s personality (e.g. whether he is a good sport or not).
4 Be Smart
One advantage of being set up is that this person comes with a character reference from your matchmaker. However, your matchmaker won’t know everything! So, follow the precautions you’d normally use when meeting someone you don’t know. For example, get together in a public place, let a friend know where you are, and don’t over-share personal information too soon.
5 Be Yourself
Your matchmaker obviously saw something in both of you that made them think you’d be a match. But, only the two of you will know if things click. You may be tempted to become someone you’re not just to make this work, especially if you’re a people-pleaser. But if you’re revealing anything other than your true self, you aren’t being fair to anyone involved, including yourself.
6 Say Thank You.
Even if the setup doesn’t cue an angelic choir or set off reworks, it’s important to note that there are two parties who exerted time, thought, and energy on your behalf—your date and your matchmaker. Whether you deem the date a success or a op, be sure to thank them both.
7 Give Second Chances.
Maybe your date didn’t look like a hunk. Maybe all his jokes fell at. Maybe the night was super awkward. But the truth is, everyone can have a bad day. If you were treated with respect, and you didn’t run into any serious deal breakers, why not give the person another chance?
8 Remember That It’s Not All About You.
Asking questions about the other person is a no-brainer on a first date—blind or not. But before you meet a new guy, find out enough information to ask him personalized questions. Chatting about things he enjoys will put him at ease and allow you to get to know the real him (rather than just where he’s from, where he went to school, or what his favorite pizza toppings are).
If you open yourself up to a blind date, there’s no guarantee you’ll end up with your “happily-ever-after.” But at the end of that date, who knows what could happen? Maybe your “yes” will be the beginning of something special. (And if not, at least you’ll have a story to tell about it.)
PHOTO: Peter Bernik & Martinina
Life Lessons from Dating
In I Was Blind (Dating), But Now I See, Stephanie rische shares hilarious anecdotes and penetrating wisdom from her experiences. follow her through eight blind dates, and see what she learned about her relationship with god and others.